Posted by: tonytomkinson | February 19, 2012

This years Budget 2012

Last week County Council approved the Budget for the year 2012/3. I’m pleased to tell you that the Council will not be increasing Council Tax for the second year running, and have promised not to raise it next year as well. However, there is a sad note to that proposal for some people, we need to make savings of some £44 million, and to do this will mean that there will be a lot of jobs lost. Sadly, this cannot be avoided if we are to achieve the necessary savings. There is quite a lot of good news attached to the Budget, and I list some of the highlights below.

  • £3.5 million investment in road maintenance to allow in  the region of 100km more of Norfolk’s roads to be surface treated next year. This sum will boost both the road suface dressing and resurfacing programmes – and help reduce the number of potholes suffered by motorists.
  • £5.4 million to provide an extra 40 places for “looked after’ Children in Norfolk, so only those for whom it is in their best interests will have to live outside of the county, and provide additional support for children and young people at risk of coming into care.
  • £3.0 million to provide apprenticeships for young people who are struggling to get a foot on the employment ladder.
  • £0.5 million to support work placements for young people, to help break the cycle of no-experience, no job.
  • £0.51 million for 24/7 free travel for eligible blind pass holders and free travel for companion pass holders.
  • £0.51 million saving from increased County Farm rental income, to support the above.
  • £0.123 million for public rights of way. Last year we reduced spending on public rights of way, and introduced a new approach which focuses on Norfolk Trails and enforcement. Recognising the vital role that public rights of way have to play in tourism, recreation and mobility for Norfolk, we do not propose to go forward with the planned saving, instead use the funding to support our strategy and enhance our work with landowners.

There is to be additional money for libraries, money to support the changes that were agreed last year for the day care of older people. We are determined that Norfolk will continue to be a leading Council for the care of all of our citizens from the youngest, the most vulnerable, to the eldest and help them to stay independent for longer.

 

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